Wednesday,17 October, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1382, (22 - 28 February 2018)
Wednesday,17 October, 2018
Issue 1382, (22 - 28 February 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Classics in Egypt: But with no soul

For whoever missed the golden days, manufacturers are once again bringing back their iconic models on production lines, writes Mohamed Abdel-Razek

DB4 GT continuation

It’s never too late to take the chance once it’s up for grabs. Choosing to live in a certain era in history is not possible, however, you can always build your own world around you, and the more the money, the more it becomes realistic. In the car world, as far as you want to go back in history to pick up your desired automobile, you must dig deep into your pockets to make your dream real.

The Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, for example — there are two cars of this model existing in the world, one owned by the famous American fashion designer Ralph Lauren — costs more than $40 million, and the value keeps increasing with time. The same goes for classic cars in general. The more special the car is, whether for the history it carries, being owned by a celebrity, or for its own value, the more digits you need to add while making the offer.

Limited production also makes it difficult for classic car enthusiasts to get the special cars they always dreamed of because even if they had the money, it doesn’t mean the owner has the intention to sell the car.

British car manufacturers like Aston Martin and Jaguar had it all sorted out. The elite brands picked two unique vintage models and decided to earn enthusiasts another chance of owning the special car they always wanted.

Aston Martin started the continuation of the DB4 GT late in 2016, with a limited edition line of 25 cars. The first was delivered in December of last year with 24 others awaiting delivery during the next three years. Only 75 of the original DB4 GT were built from 1959 to 1963. The new cars will be track-only versions based on the lightweight specifications of 1959. The cars are handcrafted from ground up with no robots used whatsoever, just like the original car. The manufacturing process of the continuation DB4 GT is also taking place in the same factory Aston Martin used to manufacture the original car. The historic plant in Newport Pagnel, northwest of London, will get the chance to revive the glory of the DB4 GT. They will maintain their vintage appearance but will include safety features and performance nannies according to the company. Imagine driving a 1959 supercar with traction control; it’s like wearing a tie on a swimming suit and going to work. 


McQueen with his XLSS

The DB4 GT will come with a purely naturally aspirated 4.2L 6 cylinder engine from the golden era, front-mounted producing power to the rear wheels, driven by a 4-speed manual producing 345 bhp at 6000 rpm.

Who would buy such cars? A top condition DB4 is said to be for $3 million, but for the continuation cars you need to spare only $1.9 million to get one, and at the end of the day it’s a brand new car that will last for another 60-plus years.

The experience doesn’t end here. Buying one of the 25 continuation Astons means you will be part of an exclusive two-year programme that will take the owners along with their cars to play in eight of the world’s top race tracks, including Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Aston Martin will also manage all the logistics and preparation of cars and ensure they run at their best. Also top notch driving instructors will be available by the company to make sure all the lucky owners get the best performance they can from the car and themselves.

Jaguar as well is bringing the iconic XKSS to showrooms but with fewer pieces; only nine of the 1957 super car. Based on the D-Type, which won three consecutive Le Mans races in the mid-1950s, only 16 were ever built. The original car had enough power to take off from zero to 60mph in five seconds in the 1950s. Such a performance made it the supercar of its time. 

The continuation version of the XKSS will come with a price tag of $1.5 million, a bargain for what the original car might be if auctioned. And like the Aston, the XKSS will be for track use only since it doesn’t meet today’s emotions and safety requirements.

The flood of questions won’t stop coming on this matter, but again, why own a classic car in the first place? Just for the design? The engine and exhaust note? Might some people consider the continuation cars just toys for big boys or a high grade replica? Owning an original classic car for many who had the experience is owning a special piece of history, knowing that the leather you are touching was made by the hands of professionals in a certain part of the world in the 1950s. There is the appreciation you get for keeping your old car in the best shape possible, and many other stories from classic car owners that owners of continuation cars will probably not experience.

In another world, in Egypt, such cars can find its highest value since vintage cars can’t be imported unless done so by its first owner. And he must be Egyptian, highly improbable for a car from the 1950s. So for Egyptian classic car collectors, this is probably your chance to bring in a unique classic car to the country. It can also be registered since emission rules are loose compared to those of Europe.

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